Changes to Dog and Cat Management Act passed through Parliament

Amendments to the Dog and Cat Management Act, were passed through Parliament on 6 July 2016, following an extensive public engagement program, including convening a Citizens’ Jury to make recommendations on reducing the number of unwanted dogs and cats that are euthanised every year.

The next step is to consult on the draft regulations to work out the finer details of how the new requirements will come into effect.

It is expected the draft regulations will be ready for public consultation later this year and that the amendments will be phased in during 2017.

Read more about dog and cat reform and these legislative changes or view the Minister's media release.

Feedback on the Draft Bill to change the Dog and Cat Management Act

Consultation on amendments to the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 was conducted from 19 April to 26 June 2015.

During the consultation, we received a significant response with more than 1800 submissions through the online YourSAy survey. The valuable feedback you provided on the proposed amendments through the survey were analysed and used to finalise changes to the Act. A copy of the consultation report can be found here (PDF, 2.6MB).

To understand the community’s concerns and possible solutions to unwanted dogs and cats being admitted to animal shelters, the State Government, with the support of the Dog and Cat Management Board, also convened a citizens’ jury. The citizens’ jury on Reducing Unwanted Dogs and Cats was asked to consider the following charge:

Last year in South Australia over 10,000 dogs and cats were put down. The State Government recently announced some reforms to dog and cat laws. What further measures can we introduce or trial to reduce the number of unwanted pets?

The citizens’ jury provided a report with seven recommendations to the Government (PDF, 5.2MB).

The Government’s response to the recommendations of the citizens’ jury (PDF, 1.4MB) supported the recommendation of compulsory desexing of dogs and cats for future generations.

On 18 November 2015, the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Hon. Ian Hunter MLC, introduced the Dog and Cat Management (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2015 (the Bill) (PDF, 210KB) to Parliament.

The Bill is due to be debated in Parliament this year and, if passed, will introduce reforms to dog and cat management in South Australia, such as mandatory microchipping and desexing, breeder registration and increased penalties for dog attacks.

You can also download the quarterly reports on this page.

Previous updates 

The Jury's Report

The Jury's final report was presented to the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources on Wednesday 12 August. It will be tabled, unedited, in Parliament later this year.

The SA Government's response

The Government has provided a response to the Citizens' Jury's recommendations. 

Download the full report here (PDF, 1.4MB)

Status updates

Download the latest reports on the progress of implementing the recommendations:

Dog and Cat Management YourSAy Consultation Report

From 19 April – 26 June 2015 we invited you to have your say on the proposed changes to the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995. We received a significant response and over 1800 submissions through the online YourSAy survey. The valuable feedback you provided on the proposed changes through the survey has been compiled into a consultation report which can be found here (PDF, 2.6MB).

Thank you to all those who participated in the consultation period. Your opinions and comments will assist us to improve dog and cat management for our pets and our communities.